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Under the Eisenhower Doctrine, the United States pledged to give increased economic and military aid to receptive Middle Eastern countries and to protect - with US armed forces if necessary - the territorial integrity and political independence of these nations from the threat of ""international communism"". Salim Yaqub demonstrates that although the United States officially aimed to protect the Middle East from Soviet encroachment, the Eisenhower Doctrine had the unspoken mission of containing the radical Arab nationalism of Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser, whom Eisenhower regarded as an unwitting agent of Soviet expansionism. By offering aid and protection, the Eisenhower administration hoped to convince a majority of Arab governments to side openly with the West in the Cold War, thus isolating Nasser and decreasing the likelihood that the Middle East would fall under Soviet domination. Employing a wide range of declassified Egyptian, British and American archival sources, Yaqub offers a comprehensive account of Eisenhower's efforts to counter Nasserism's appeal throughout the Arab Middle East. Challenging interpretations of US-Arab relations that emphasize cultural antipathies and clashing values, Yaqub instead argues that the political dispute between the United States and the Nasserist movement occurred within a shared moral framework - a pattern that continues to characterize US-Arab controversies in the 21st century.
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"In laying bare such manifold American dilemmas in the region for the pivotal years of 1957 and 1958, Yaqub in a sharp analysis and clear language provides much needed historical contextualizations for problems still haunting the region and the world today."
-- "Australasian Journal of American Studies"
"Presents a compelling case for a fresh interpretation of the U.S.-Arab dynamic. . . . A thoughtful, persuasively argued study that makes a valuable contribution. . . . Should be considered mandatory reading for anyone seeking to understand the interaction of U.S. Cold War imperatives with the realities of Middle Eastern politics."
-- "Journal of Cold War Studies"
Salim Yaqub is assistant professor of American and international history at the University of Chicago.
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